Lower Tiers RBY UU Discussion Thread


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So the RBY UU Survey has gone out and I had a neat conversation about Tentacruel in the RBY Discord. Here I'll write my treatise on the idea of banning it.

Before you reply...

To get something out of the way: Tier identity arguments should never be used to protect a Pokemon's place in a tier. SWSH LC Vullaby is a perfect example of this, being a Pokemon with multiple generations' worth of dominance before finally getting the axe. I strongly believe that it is good and right to question something so warping that it gives the tier its identity, and I am speaking as one of the people who got this tier to where it is today. So let's not appeal to tradition and kid ourselves when this tier has and does experience massive changes every few years.

Indeed, some people will take this post as an attack on RBY UU itself, but I think true love is when you are willing to engage in a good faith discussion like this without resorting to a shut-down statement like "Tentacruel is UU itself". Besides, if Tentacruel suddenly dropped from 100% usage, is it even the Tentacruel tier anymore? I don't think it's a sustainable metric, anyway.

It's not that I don't like UU: it's that I absolutely love this tier. Why else would I dedicate endless hours to writing material on this metagame? It is good, right, and frankly brave to question the identity of your tier.

Let's look at Tentacruel!

Let's look at why Tentacruel works for a moment: 100 Speed Wrap.

This is insane in a tier with checks notes 8 Pokemon that outrun it, and 7 that ties it. Out of these, the following Pokemon are viable;
Outruns Tentacruel: :electrode::aerodactyl::dugtrio::persian::electabuzz::kadabra: (6)
Ties Tentacruel: :dodrio::tentacruel::raichu::charizard: (4)
You have to use at least two of these ten Pokemon, ideally more, to keep the opponent off Tentacruel. A few of these can't even contest it in a head-on collision, and some are barely viable. Let's call these Pokemon "Speedsters" for the rest of this thesis, and a critical mass of them is a problem.

In some generations, this would be fine, but in RBY, this is very, very bad. I am not going to outright say Tentacruel is broken because I don't think this adequately describes how good Tentacruel actually is. I define it as overpowered, in that it has so many options available at any given stage of a game down to the prep phase, dictating everything that happens. The centralising nature of Tentacruel is incredibly difficult to quantify. This is because it has 100% usage and has to be deconstructed because it's not your normal "I will set up and sweep" SM OU banned Pokemon, it's something that supports teams in an incredibly intricate way.

The reason Tentacruel's "brokenness" is so hotly debated is that it is a "constant" in the tier. You go in expecting to see it and thus you stack your teams against it. It extends into the builder; you must load extremely fast Pokemon - some of which are just flat-out not that great otherwise - and these Pokemon are not just frail, but also have gigantic critical hit rates. This is fine in something like RBY OU because your team is stacked with Chansey and Snorlax to begin with, which see the battlefield more than any Pokemon, and much of the rest of the Pokemon are slow bulk monsters. Yes, Alakazam and Starmie are exceptions, but their usage is not mandated, and teams like EggMieDon have seen usage for numerous years. In UU, Dugtrio has a 20%+ chance to make a Pokemon vanish before your eyes. Dugtrio would not be used nearly as much in a metagame where it has multiple bulky Water-types to contend with. Kangaskhan, a Pokemon famed for its physical bulk in the tier to some degree, has a 20%+ chance to fail to check Dugtrio. And you don't just have Dugtrio as your big fuck off speedster, you have Kadabra, Persian, and Dodrio, these Pokemon hit so hard but all die to a critical hit Tentacruel Surf or something. And here, it's not just Tentacruel, it's...everything. Look at how much Persian's Slash does to all of these, seriously.

Tentacruel's Speed isn't the only thing that promotes these Pokemon either, it's also the fact it enables them better than any Pokemon in the game. It is incredibly easy to find a Tentacruel Wrap opportunity - don't pretend it isn't, you have and do play those weird Tentacruel speed ties in a desperate attempt to get momentum - and the minute that lands, you have the opportunity to bring in one of these big fuck off frail speedsters in for free. Now yes, they can bring in a Pokemon that happens to check them, but unlike your opponent, you are the one with the plan from a few turns ago here. And this thing that centralises the metagame has 84.4% accuracy, adding even more variance on the Tentacruel user's end. If their mandatory Tentacruel gets paralysed, they likely lose the game, but it's so strong and centralising that they have to use it. And unlike its fellow speedsters, Tentacruel can "skip" the typical "switch in a TWaver and make status progress" counterplay through Wrap providing free switches, making it SUPER hard to actually touch. You cannot "counter" Tentacruel with even something like Raichu because it's going to bring in Dugtrio and Thanos it from existence because ONE Wrap tick immediately puts Raichu in Dugtrio range. Even if it didn't, Raichu would have a 20%+ chance to die, just like Tentacruel, actually. If you KO a Pokemon in other RBY tiers, you can bring in virtually any paralysis user, force the speedster out, and make status progress. Or, force a 50/50 between status and a strong attack to beat their current status blocker. Tentacruel means the threshold has to be 100+ Speed for it to even be an option, and when it is, they have a bloody Hypno in the back, which means at least Kadabra and Electabuzz won't be able to do much; at least Electabuzz can crit, I guess. Making status progress is insanely hard.

Someone will likely bring up the all-sacred "30% is too much, not 20%" clause. The reason this is different is that you are facing these chances constantly, not on a single turn. They add up. The chance for a Kadabra to crit over three turns is 38.8%, for example, and this doesn't have to be turns in a row. This is in a tier with almost zero reliable recovery - only three get it, and only Kadabra is viable - which means that not only is recovery difficult with Tentacruel choking you out of being able to use your Rest Vaporeon, but you are also faced with a looming critical hit that takes over half your HP away. Speedsters quickly breach the "30% is too much" clause, but it's ok in metagames where you have defensive Pokemon to fall back on and play around it. UU doesn't have this because the entire tier has to be focused on taking out this jellyfish, it is notorious for its Normal Spam HO teams backed by Tentacruel's phenomenal support. Hypno carries this tier on its back because of all of this, and so much pressure is on it constantly lest your team fall apart.

So why do we need to keep these fragile speedsters alive so much?

Fighting Tentacruel without something to outrun it sucks. It loses its fun and interactive nature very fucking quickly. And these speedsters that outrun it die fast and sometimes it is completely out of your hands, so you have to play very safely, sometimes even sub-optimally if you're playing to the odds. The optimal UU game gets dumpstered by its high offence + high variance two-punch combo. You watch your team get choked out of a game for 15+ turns in an extremely monotonous way praying to Jesus that you get that 30.1% Body Slam paralysis so the horror ends. Yes, it takes setup, I am extremely painfully aware, but even when you are playing perfectly it sometimes just does not go that way.

With that, let's recap.
  • Tentacruel's centralisation is rooted in its overpowered nature, because it supports teams in an intricate way that is unlike anything in the Pokemon franchise.
  • Tentacruel's 100 Speed Wrap is the cause of this, which means teams are required to run excessive speedsters for the purpose of forcing it out.
  • However, forcing it out translates into "Tentacruel switches into a counter" if Wrap connects, which additionally makes status progress very difficult.
  • These speedsters arbitrarily increase the variance of the tier significantly, causing critical hits to occur around two to three times as often as a tier like OU or even NU.
  • If you don't run them or they vanish because of a critical hit (they're very fragile!), you are basically fighting APT without the need to set up.

RBY UU is not "natural"

What we currently have is a very "unnatural" metagame. Indeed, some may ask "What is natural, o Sage PvK?" I direct you to this class act of a post by Lusch, who puts the idea of what is "natural" into words I would be incapable of, a post of which I am of the understanding many agree with. This is more of a barometer of what to investigate rather than an assessment;
I believe that Wrap is problematic on Tentacruel because it creates a metagame that feels unnatural. I know this is an abstract (and probably subjective) statement, but I’ll try to explain what I mean by that. Since Wrap is so oppressive coming from such a fast Pokemon, it forces people to use options that outspeed Tentacruel on their teams (at least one of Dugtrio, Kadabra, Persian, Electabuzz), since having a team where your own Tentacruel is the fastest member makes your own Tentacruel match-up really unpleasant. Fair and well, you’ll say, Dugtrio, Kadabra and Persian would be good regarldless. Let’s just say that this is true (which it is for Persian and Kadabra, Dugtrio would not be the go-to physical, there’s just stronger options…). Electabuzz however is not a natural UU-Pokemon. You see, in RBY you have very clear-cut roles that certain Pokemon fill. Usually there is no need to have two Pokmon in the same tier that fill very similar roles. Examples are Rhydon vs Golem or Victreebel vs Venusaur in OU. Very similar Pokemon but one just sets itself apart from the other by tiny margins which makes them rightfully not end up in the same tier. With Electabuzz the role is simply “Electric-type”. For this role you have the choice between Raichu and Electabuzz. Very similar stats, but one big difference. Raichu has Surf as coverage and Electabuzz Psychic. Surf is by far the surperior coverage option for an Electric type (it hits ground types if you haven’t noticed). That simply makes Raichu the natural UU-Choice over Electabuzz in the same way It makes Rhydon and Victreebel the natural OU-choices over Golem and Venusaur. Regardless, Electabuzz would end up in UU (alongside Raichu). And the only reason for that is that it outspeeds Tentacruel. Something similar can be said about the “bulky-water” choice. Take away Wrap and I don’t think we see Omastar in this tier since Vaporeon is simply the better Pokemon. Admittedly, Omastar’s presence is not due to Tentacruel’s Wrap, but due to Dragonite’s Wrap, but it’s still unnatural, if you know what I’m saying. Some other things that strike me as unnatural are the sleep-game of this tier (and not unrelated, the “Grass-type” choice). The sleepers that you see are mainly Hypno and Haunter. And that is fair. But those have to rely on Hypnosis. Naturally, people would be looking for something more reliable e.g. something with Sleep Powder. There’s a lot of options, but the one that should be the best in this environment is Venusaur. 80 speed, decent stats, good STAB move… it’s all there. Still, it’s nowhere to be seen, because the tier’s shape due to the wrappers turns out to be a very hostile one for Venusaur (probably also more Dragonite’s fault than Tentacruel’s but if the premier Water-type of the tier is faster and Poison-type, things don’t look good for Venusaur). People chose Tangela over Venusaur simply because it checks Dugtrio better. But Dugtrio is only that much of an issue, because it will always find use as a threat to Tenacruel. Not the most well-spoken example there, the Venusaur one, I admit, but point is: A tier naturally also has a Grass-type in it to sleep stuff (because of accuracy) and the fact that there is no established one, and if anything people chose Tangela over Venusaur is simply unnatural. Last but not least, there are a lot of interesting 60-90 speed Pokemon that should be getting use. Most prominent Example for me is Golduck. Water is a great neutral typing for an Amnesia booster, with not many weaknesses and Golduck has very nice speed for an Amnesia Booster. But guess what. You bring in your Golduck to Amnesia, I bring in my Tentacruel to outspeed you and wrap you down or create a good switch for me. Useless Golduck… In an environment where all the OUs are gone, you guessed it, unnatural.
And Lusch, someone who has played this tier for longer than I have, is absolutely right on all counts. This is the problem with Tentacruel, it is so centralising that it has created its own tier. Few Pokemon in the franchise's history can say they succeeded with that.

Ok, Tentacruel is gone. What now?

So what if we get rid of Tentacruel, then? This is difficult to assess because the tier is so warped beyond recognition. It is, indeed, "the Wrap tier". Thus, this section will be shorter on account of this being mostly speculative.

Tentacruel currently invalidates slower teams that fail to meet the mandatory speedster threshold. A "tentless" metagame means these are now available, which come with two crucial benefits;
  • Longer games
  • Variance is naturally reduced
Bulkier teams are more equipped to deal with Pokemon like Persian and Dodrio, as Omastar and Golem become far more viable, for example. These two Pokemon have incredibly low critical hit rates and seeing their usage increase means the average damage dealt per turn reduces. Not only that, but the games become far more interactive: instead of playing yet another Wrap mindgame - yes, these can get old - you are playing around with what's in front of you.


With all of this in mind, I find it very hard to laugh at people who say Tentacruel should be banned as some people do, because honestly? They have a sound case. They just haven't looked into it enough to build it like I am right now. And unlike them, people will take me seriously because I'm an authority for some reason. Great.

I understand that banning Pokemon is an extremely eyebrow-raising thing to do in RBY, but like...c'mon, lol, look at this. Let's actually look into this properly.
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Tent is broken just like couple other things/mechanics, it’s alright May you can say that without justifying it’s a necessity for some arbitrary reason. One wouldnt be so bad to deal with if it wasn’t for combination of everything else/plus lack of real resources because covering one means you will accept losing to something else, either outright broken or even less so.

I posted my thoughts in the survey and usually do in private with a few people and it will probably stay that way now and in the future mostly to my disconnect with most everyone and my pretty opinionated self/outlook on things.

And also Vic sucks stop trying to make it good (sorry bfm lol)


Rustiest Player Around
is a Community Contributor
Hey all, as some of you may be aware, the RBY UU council conducted a survey of the UU playerbase recently, and after being open for a week, the results are in.

Main Takeaways:
  • Amongst experienced respondents, 72.73% supported tiering action be taken against Sleep inducing moves.
  • 61.90% of all respondents and 54.55% of experienced respondents supported Suspect Testing Lapras to see if it should be dropped to UU or not.
  • 33.33% of all respondents supported tiering action against Tentacruel, however this was lower amongst experienced respondents, with only 27.27% supporting tiering action against Tentacruel.
  • Most respondents would continue to play RBY UU even if no tiering action was taken.
  • Most respondents think the tier is in an okay or good state.
Responses were gathered via google sheets, the list of respondents is as follows.
Sevi 7
chuva de perereca
Ema Skye
Question 1: Which of the following options to change the tier would you be interested in pursuing? (You can choose multiple options).
Response Breakdown across all respondents:

Results Breakdown across experienced players:

Responses for Other:
Unban Agility + Fire Spin (1)
Ban Partial Trapping (1)

As we can see from these charts a majority of respondents support suspect testing Lapras, regardless of skill level. This indicates to us that at some point in the near future we should test Lapras in RBY UU, which we will do after RBYPL. Amongst experienced players that responded to the survey, over 70% of them expressed support for banning Sleep. Such overwhelming support from experienced players indicates clearly to the RBY UU council that we should conduct tiering action against Sleep immediately, which we will do. Lastly, something interesting to note is that amongst most respondents, 1/3rd of them support tiering action being taken against Tentacruel, however this is lower amongst experienced players who responded to the survey. We will keep an eye out on Tentacruel into the future and conduct tiering action if deemed appropriate.

Respondents comments on their answers to the previous question
Answers here had minor fixes to punctuation/capitalization made (mostly just capitalising the first letters in a sentence) as well as replacing abbreviations of Pokemon and Move names with the full name (stuff like replacing “cuno” with “Articuno”, “twave” with “Thunder Wave”, or “fp’d” with “fully paralyzed”) to make the responses more readable. The content of these responses was not changed during this. This was also done for the responses in Question 3 as well.
I think Lapras should be tested on principle but ultimately I’m a fan of the current meta and would be okay with it staying as is.
Persian is OU.
I think it is valid to suspect test Tentacruel on the grounds of giving its place in the tier more legitimacy to the general public. I do also, however, think it is worth seeing if the community actually wants it in the tier at all. I agree that it has given the tier an identity, but this has not stopped communities from questioning it in the past: see SWSH LC Vullaby for instance, despite years of dominance, it has been firmly kept out through two suspect tests. We should be open to looking at our top tiers and seeing how healthy they are in the community's eyes.

If sleep proves to be an unviable or unpopular opinion, removing Hypno would be the best course of action. While it's "the defensive Pokemon" I feel like players underrated just how easily it sticks to the field and how much damage it can actually do. It feels more like Snorlax than it does Chansey at times, and is definitely a primary contributor to "the sleep question" whether you like it or not. I would define Hypno as "overpowered" in the tier's current state, in that it has way too many options.

I feel like Persian hits too hard for how fast it is, despite counterplay such as Haunter, Golem, and paralysis existing. The fact it can 2HKO a significant portion of the tier is very alarming and it can lock down end-games very quickly without much thought being put into it. I feel like Persian makes the tier way more offensive than it should be and removing it would benefit the tier strongly. Persian also tends to "skip" certain forms of counterplay that would be valid against other Normal-types, such as how Porygon can actually wall Kangaskhan and Dodrio, but specifically not Persian, or sets like Barrier Tentacruel or Acid Armor Vaporeon. Given it's already the best of the Normal-type picks, it feels kind of awful when you put it into perspective, right?

I support the community's desire to suspect test sleep, which may help with the Persian problem.

Suspect testing Lapras ensures the RBY UU Council keeps its promise, but it should be done after sleep is solved.

Victreebel is a very good addition to the tier and I hope to see it grow in the future.
Tier feels fine for me at the moment.
Lapras should stay OU in my opinion.
I hope selecting "Ban Tentacruel" won't trigger my input to automatically be trashed

Tentacruel Ban: I don't think either it be banned but worth looking into, I think Wrap (where Tentacruel is the best user of) is a lot less healthy as its often touted as, and I think it gets even less "deep" with proper Wrap mechanics due to the risk wrapping more than once poses. Overall, while I don't think it's ban material, I do think Tentacruel is not necessarily a positive and Wrap shenanigans (guessing, missing, etc) is not exactly healthy.

Hypno ban is primarily just due to Hypnosis sets, however I don't think an overall sleep ban is justified. Sleep is very strong, but I think arguments such as "It makes bad Pokemon good" and "It's inconsistent" aren't super convincing. First, who cares if otherwise bad Pokemon are good because of sleep? If the Pokemon is otherwise bad, it's going to be a risk you choose to take. Jynx in OU is trash if it couldn't sleep. And I think the main inconsistency is actually Hypnosis Hypno, which in my opinion can give reasoning to instead ban Hypno rather than sleep. While yes, Sleep Powder is 75% accuracy and missing it can be very punishing, along with sleep turns I'm not willing to say it's inconsistent enough to use it as a primary cause for banning it, and it's not strong enough when the best non-Hypno users are B tier. Really look into Hypno instead of sleep in general. And no, ban sleep or even Hypnosis to "save Hypno'' is a horrible idea akin to banning Gorilla Tactics to "Save Galarian-Darmanitan"

Now Lapras, it's quite odd to ban a Pokemon then listen to feedback on whether to suspect test them or not, shouldn't it just be suspect tested regardless? Seems like a strong Pokemon for sure, but not something you just say "we played friendlies with a year ago and it's too good" and forget about it. Give Lapras a few months at least and highly preferably a tournament before declaring it broken and banishing it.

I don’t know, banning Persian and Victreebel seem completely random here, Victreebel sure, it's a new Pokemon and all but clearly not broken; and idk where Persian ban came from. It makes you run Haunter sometimes, who's not the greatest? I don’t know.
If Lapras becomes the new domineering force like Hypno currently is so be it; the BL should be an absolute last resort in a gen with so few Pokemon and with such small tiers, and being centralising clearly isn't enough reason to ban things otherwise Tentacruel and Hypno would be banned.

Sleep should be suspected and there should be some thought and cooperative work among councils put into integrating it with other tiers; it would be stupid to ban sleep, have like 3 sleepers drop to NU, and have them dominate because they can sleep there. It's also kind of silly to ban sleep in everything but OU/Ubers tbh, it would be best if it was consistent across tiers but that would shake up OU more than I think the OUers are willing to do. If there's no way to do that it should at least be applied to UU/NU/PU/ZU and maybe LC as well so there's consistency past OU.
Lapras probably broken but deserves a test down of sorts, all lower tiers would benefit from Partial Trapping move/Sleep removal not just UU, which would nerf Tentacruel which is semi-broken and not have to beat around bush of doing this weird complex ban that tried to avoid banning Dragonite. Hypno is broken but it's in large part to sleep more than anything. Persian removal would make tier a lot worse, especially if it was just a sole suspect/ban and you kept everything else. The metagame at its lowest point is a culprit of the centralization of Hypno and Tentacruel but mostly their access to Sleep and Wrap respectively.
Tentacruel is way too flexible and bulky, a huge power increase from the other Pokémon in the tier.
Sleep greatly restricts teambuilding and forces a ton of uncompetitive fifty-fifties on the turns after it lands. I think we'll see a much wider pool of viable Pokemon after sleep is banned, and powerful Pokemon like Persian will probably have better counterplay available. It also just kind of thrusts a little too much variance in the tier. It's statistically optimal to always go for sleep, but some 30% to 40%, it'll just screw you over because it missed. No sleep pushes players towards more consistent play, even if that play may have slightly lower rewards.

Persian is on my radar, but I don't think it is broken. A sleep ban will hopefully tone it down some more.

I don't want to suspect test Lapras. The tier is plenty healthy and doesn't need another centralising S-Rank.
The tier is fine as is, but we could look into banning sleep. It could improve the tier. Lapras should suspect tested based on principle.
- Lapras Suspect I support since we need to do it, I think it's likely to be banned, but we need to do it.
- Persian: Persian being able to 2HKO/OHKO so much with such little chip damage is kind of obscene, might be worth looking at.
- Sleep: I've made my thoughts on sleep clear in Discord, while I do find that there are problematic sleep users, there are some ones which add depth and nuance to the tier which get that boost from sleep they need to be viable, hence why I am torn on it. I think it should be suspect tested though, unsure where I am likely to fall on this however.
- No changes: I like the tier as it currently is, hence why I would be fine if stuff didn't change.
I don't think Hypno is broken. However, if people think Sleep is broken, they should really instead be looking at Hypno as being broken, and should carefully consider what kind of metagame would result with no Hypno (hint: an enjoyable one), as Venusaur, Victreebel, and Venomoth are not broken and using those for Sleep does not break the game.
Lapras should have been given a chance. In theory it looks unhealthy for the tier indeed; but, it contributing something or not is not a reason to ban it. It should only be banned if it is indeed deemed unhealthy/broken.
Tentactuel warps the meta with its 100 speed wrap, as 100 speed is very good in RBY UU.
While I am interested in everyone’s perspectives and various suspect test ideas such as potential Tentacruel ban, you don't want to test/change multiple things at once because then it is hard to evaluate each of them. Sleep is something that repeatedly swings games wildly, in part due to either the low accuracy of sleep moves, and/or the sleep move users being 2HKOed by most if not all of the opposing team making one miss devastating. As well as Hypnosis Hypno mirrors specifically. emma and others have catalogued and commented on a number of games where sleep has massively impact outcome, though I think maybe the most egregious instance was when I came back basically down three Pokemon vs phoopes in UUSD due to a Hypno turn-one wake up followed by hitting Hypnosis against phoopes’ Golem with a substitute up.
AM had an old post that sums up my thoughts, the randomness including the random length of sleep; it is all extremely silly and whatever it theoretically adds to the metagame is undermined by its extreme inconsistency.

Sleep also is a big driver of the hyper offensive metagame, due to removing a defensive core piece, and also just making it harder for slower, bulkier Pokemon, particularly those slower than Hypnosis Hypno. That's not really the reason why for me though, can't truly control that anyway and “its not tiering policy to tier based on metagame effects'” or whatever, just noting it since it has come up in discussions.
It is too luck based and hard to guess what to do after get slept, Pokemon usually have another status move like Thunder Wave/Stun Spore, so if you switch out a slept Pokemon, you will get paralyzed, but if you stay in they can bring heavy attackers in freely and they are usually hard to counter in UU. The worst is something like a Hypnosis Hypno mirror, where the winning side usually wins the game. If you can get a real quick wake up that will be very good tough, but it is still luck-based and you will get punished hard if you stay in long and never wake up.
Nothing is broken, nothing deserves banning.
- Tentacruel and Hypno are dominant Pokemon but that does not make them broken, it would be like banning the big 3 in OU, and you'd be destroying years of metagame optimization.
- Persian has plenty of checks and you can play around it. It also has no defensive value and gets eaten by Pokemon like Articuno.
- Victreebel is just mediocre, like all the other grass types. no idea why it's even being considered here.
- Sleep is fine, it gives a few Pokemon a niche they would otherwise not have. it's only problematic on a certain Hypno set, but more because of high variance than because of being actually broken. Sometimes that set ends up fully paralysing one turn, missing Hypnosis another, and dying on the third one. People should be trying to come up with lines to punish that Hypno set instead of asking to ban it.
- Lapras seems way too powerful for UU and it would basically be the wincon in every team. All the teambuilding would revolve around it (how to protect it, how to punish it). This does not happen with any other Pokemon in UU currently, and I really don't see any reason to test it.
Hypno counterplay feels very limited to your own Hypno, and due to Sleep/Thunder Wave it can be a very RNG dependent matchup. Tentacruel at least has other options even though it defines viability in the tier.
Question 2: Would you keep playing RBY UU if no action is taken?

Response Breakdown across all respondents:

Responses for Other:
  • Yes but definitely with less effort and attention than I give to every other RBY tier.
  • My answer is still probably yes, or at least provide support in tour, because I like RBY Lower tiers as I feel they have the potential to be very interesting, enjoyable, and room for growth especially if we just seriously consider removal of Partial Trapping Moves and Sleep.
As we can see from this chart, most players would keep playing RBY UU even if no tiering action was taken, which indicates to us that the tier is in a good state. However, as seen in the responses to the previous question, the RBY UU Council will likely take tiering action against elements which players would like suspect tested.

Question 3: What are your current thoughts on the RBY UU metagame?

Eight respondents said they think the tier is in a positive state.
It’s my main tier and I love it dearly lol, I will play regardless of what happens to it.
I like the meta, people should use rest Dragonite more
Welcome at the rise of Dodrio etc, the new meta is balanced. I feel Victreebel is better in OU than in UU, and the debate over it was unnecessary. It's far from broken.
Well balanced.
Perfectly fine
Pretty good, I find the tier fun to build in and play overall.
It is fun.
Tentacruel is neat and it adds an interesting dynamic to the tier.
As well as another two respondents who think the tier is in a good state but think it could be improved.
I think the tier is very good and will eventually approach a direction where Tentacruel will slip from 100% usage. I do, however, believe that it could use with some change to tone down its offensive nature. Right now, I feel like the stacked Normal-type team structures are a bit brainless at times and the skill cap appears to be decreasing. This isn't always a bad thing, but I feel like it's a bit...silly, y'know?
Pretty good, I find the tier fun to build in and play overall.
Five respondents said the tier was in an okay spot but was either boring or centralised.
It's ok.
It's okay, kinda centralised with a solid team structure being Tentacruel/Hypno/Kadabra/Kangaskhan/Persian/Dugtrio Check. I won't elaborate too much on it since it's not the kind of thing that can just be fixed instantly. It's a little bit Articuno weak but you have a slot for Vaporeon/Dewgong/Whatever. Can drop Persian sometimes too in case of Haunter.
It’s fine.
Competitive but boring
It’s fine
Two other respondents said the tier was in an okay or good spot, but commented on Tentacruel being centralising or a bit too strong.
It’s pretty solid although Tentacruel is a bit overcentralizing imo
It’s fine but Tentacruel is a little too good
Four respondents said that the tier needed tiering action taken.
I'm bad, who cares what my thoughts are? That said I dislike watching good players lose because the dice decided they get to play 4v6 today, it sucks. I want to see people outplay each other rather than giving up momentum to avoid Hypno sleep wars, bringing bad Pokemon for that same purpose, or rolling the dice and getting stomped because they lost a coin flip.

Unrelated but I hope a bunch of things at the bottom of UU (Dewgong, Venusaur, Aerodactyl) drop back to NU and shake it up a bit.
Good/Great metagame on paper despite the dumb kekkers looking outside in, bad in practice unfortunately which justifies same peoples complaints, too many factors out of your control in combination with lot of the things (this includes freeze in that pool) I pointed out in first question. The combination of all of them together give you too little resources to do anything else but run one single archetype, as all others are mostly unviable no matter what the enthusiasts try to convince as viable/usable. I'm not a fan of the current iteration of the metagame it puts too much emphasis on very RNG game states and positioning. Which I blame most of the things I mentioned, I do like the offensive nature of it but I've been saying in private that something needs to change for it to really grow/be taken more seriously.
Sleep is clearly unhealthy and needs to go - should be the 1st step in improving the tier
It's very offensive, basically, the default teambuilding right now is you pick six of the top nine Pokemon including Tentacruel and Hypno, with some having good synergies like Kadabra + Dragonite but honestly, you can pretty much pick any four of #3-9 and it's fine; or you bring something lower for specific matchup(s). e.g. Haunter for Persian, Dewgong for Articuno, Omastar or Golem for Dodrio. Building an actually well-rounded defensive team is pretty much impossible, so if you want to use one of the defensive or matchup-reliant Pokemon, you basically have to just live with having a bad matchup vs something else. And I think you see this from top UU players like Yazu and Torchic, when they bring one of the matchup-reliant Pokemon, they don't like try to bring a second one to attempt to cover it, because that really doesn't work, they will more likely just bring 5 of the top 9 plus the matchup Pokemon.

Even ‘putting aside’ the silliness that is sleep in RBY UU, the tier isn't really in the best state right now because there's no consistent defensive play, defensive Pokemon only really work as fishing for certain matchups otherwise you are always better off with an offensive Pokemon instead, and the lack of defensive play also makes gameplay somewhat less competitive when you can't switch into a lot of things and therefore there is a lot of button clicking.

For the question below, Victreebel is really not very good; but it doesn't add anything to the tier either. Victreebel’s sleep isn't any more or less problematic than other sleepers, except maybe for the fact that Victreebel has a better chance to do something at low health than Venusaur (because of Wrap), so Victreebel staying in and clicking a sleep move against things that 2HKO it like Dodrio, Tentacruel, or even Articuno, is maybe a more impactful coinflip than with Venusaur, as even a 30% or 10%, Victreebel is still threatening.
Which one respondent disagreed with, saying the tier was in a good spot and that tiering action shouldn’t be taken.
I started playing UU around two years ago and the evolution the metagame has seen has been huge, and it keeps evolving at a good pace. To me that's a sign of a healthy metagame, and I encourage its players to keep finding ways of pushing the meta further. all these bans feel like cheap ways of dealing with stuff that is... just good. Not broken, just good. all the things proposed for ban have actual answers.

As a player, it is way more fulfilling to find those answers in the builder or the gameplay than just saying "I'm having a hard time dealing with this, let's ban it", and what I'm seeing is more people complaining than trying to actually find ways to play around those things.

Banning is closing a door from it being explored further, and I believe there's plenty of exploration left. it is foolish to think the meta is optimised when it has been changing so often in the last couple of years. Just let it evolve naturally
One respondent commented that the tier would be better with the Dig/Fly patch.
Would benefit from a Dig/Fly patch.
And one troll respondent which went by “I HATE PARTIAL TRAPPING” expressed their clear distaste towards Wrap in their comment.
They also spammed this in the rest of their responses to the survey lol.
Question 4: How do you feel about the newly-dropped Victreebel in the RBY UU metagame?

Response Breakdown across all respondents:

Results Breakdown across experienced respondents

As we can see from both charts, the response to Victreebel's addition to the tier has been mostly indifferent or positive, with very few respondents calling its addition to the tier a detriment. Thus, it will be very unlikely we will look into taking tiering action against Victreebel.

Additional comments and feedback:
Thanks for doing this!
Thank you!
I don't actually qualify for any future votes - I was hoping I'd get drafted in UUSD to do that - but hey.
I recently got into UU and imo it's the best tier that doesn't need tinkering with too much atm. I'm glad that APT was vetoed. I feel the tier is better since then
I swear I'm decent at this tier. Please play with me.
Victreebel is dogshit but I couldn't put that as an option lol.
I don't have enough experience with Victreebel to make a firm verdict. I think it could be interesting in a sleepless tier, but there is a chance it just drops down to NU.
Why doesn’t Victreebel’s sprite look at you in the eye? What’s it looking at? Is it hiding something? Does it hate eye contact? Does it want to confess its feelings of love, but it’s afraid that the image of you, that it’s built up in its head all this time, has ruined any chance of it ever being truly happy with you? Is it actually a serial killer and it’s been hiding bodies right below where you stand, and now the guilt of the murders is finally becoming too much, so it can’t help but stare at where it’s latest victim has been buried? Or maybe it’s just a dumb plant with no brain is just one giant stomach, just like real life pincher plants.
I strongly disagree with banning Tentacruel and Hypno, the two are very good but I think they shouldn't be banned.
Thank you for this survey.
RBY community is awesome <3

Thank you all for participating in the survey and reading this, and have a wonderful rest of your day.


Week 1 vs. Torchic

:hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :dragonite: :persian: :dewgong:
:hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :gyarados: :dodrio: :haunter:
:hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :aerodactyl: :persian: :vaporeon:

Week 2 vs. Shellnuts

:tentacruel: :hypno: :kadabra: :gyarados: :persian: :golem:
:hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :articuno: :persian: :dugtrio:
:hypno: :tentacruel: :venusaur: :articuno: :vaporeon: :dugtrio:

Week 3 vs. AM

:tentacruel: :hypno: :kadabra: :gyarados: :persian: :golem:
:hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :venusaur: :persian: :kangaskhan:
:electabuzz: :hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :articuno: :kangaskhan:

Week 4 vs. Unowndragon

:hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :gyarados: :persian: :kangaskhan:
:kadabra: :hypno: :tentacruel: :articuno: :kangaskhan: :raichu:
:kadabra: :hypno: :tentacruel: :venusaur: :persian: :kangaskhan:

Week 5 vs. juoean

:electabuzz: :hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :articuno: :kangaskhan:
:hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :articuno: :persian: :dugtrio:
:haunter: :hypno: :tentacruel: :dragonite: :persian: :raichu:

Week 6 vs. phoopes

:kadabra: :hypno: :tentacruel: :articuno: :persian: :dugtrio:
:hypno: :tentacruel: :kadabra: :kangaskhan: :persian: :dugtrio:
:tentacruel: :hypno: :kadabra: :articuno: :persian: :kangaskhan:

Week 7 vs. stunner047

:tentacruel: :hypno: :kadabra: :articuno: :persian: :dugtrio:
:tentacruel: :hypno: :kadabra: :kangaskhan: :persian: :dugtrio:
:tentacruel: :hypno: :kadabra: :articuno: :persian: :kangaskhan:

Usage Stats

Legend: [Pokémon: % of all Pokémon (126) | % of all teams (21)]
Tentacruel: 16.667% | 100.000%
Hypno: 16.667% | 100.000%
Kadabra: 15.079% | 90.476%
Persian: 12.698% | 76.190%
Articuno: 7.937% | 47.619%
Kangaskhan: 7.937% | 47.619%
Dugtrio: 3.968% | 23.810%
Gyarados: 3.175% | 19.048%
Dodrio: 2.381% | 14.286%
Venusaur: 2.381% | 14.286%
Electabuzz: 1.587% | 9.524%
Haunter: 1.587% | 9.524%
Dragonite: 1.587% | 9.524%
Raichu: 1.587% | 9.524%
Golem: 1.587% | 9.524%
Vaporeon: 1.587% | 9.524%
Dewgong: 0.794% | 4.762%
Aerodactyl: 0.794% | 4.762%

Metagame Thoughts
  • Sleep is uncompetitive and needs to go. Banning Sleep removes easily my biggest problem with the tier and I'd be much more willing to explore the tier again in the future.
  • Kadabra is a near-mandatory Pokemon in the tier. Hypno and Tentacruel should never be dropped.
  • Hypnosis / Psychic / Seismic Toss / Thunder Wave is the best Hypno set by far. You never get to Rest and being walled by Hypno / Kadabra is bad.
  • Rest Tentacruel is bad. I've only explored Hydro Pump but it's been way more useful once I switched over mid-way through the tournament. Doing more damage is good - specifically it picks up the 2HKO vs. Persian as example.
  • Hypno is the best lead, followed by Kadabara, followed by Tentacruel. Lead matchup is very important in a tier as momentum based and quick as RBY UU.
  • You can't cover all the offensive threats (Tentacruel, Kadabra, Persian, Kangaskan, Articuno, Dugtrio, Dodrio) on every team. You either run some combination of them yourselves or fish for a good matchup with Dewgong, Haunter, etc.
  • Generating free turns for Pokemon like Kangaskhan and Persian on things such as paralyzed Kadabra clicking Recover or Seismic Toss, Hypno or Vaporeon Resting (stop clicking Rest!), etc. is how you gain a massive advantage and win in this tier.
  • Wrap interactions are good and healthy.
  • Suspect testing Lapras seems like a waste of time.
  • I would ban nothing besides Sleep at the moment.
  • My post-UUSD III Viability Rankings.
Season over for me had a horrible season score wise riddled with a lot of endgames for a win falling apart and just the usual things that sort of happen in this tier but is what it is. Didnt help that each loss got me more tilted week after week, but everything besides playing the tier by Week 3 and onward was fun on my team so worth the consolation.

A shoutout to BigFatMantis and for a lot of their support through the season, brainstorming game plans, structures, etc. Also for being my punching bag to test stuff and getting murdered by hax :blobthumbsup:.

I thought it would be more interesting to just post screenshots of some discussions we had since it encompasses my meta thoughts (and just banter lol) and my season, generally it'll be in order of the weeks. Didn't prep for lax in comparison cause I expected whacko shit, in which I almost got farmed by slowpoke, which I was correct in that assumption and confirmed I'm bad lol. Enjoy.
BFM reading my mind


Reworking BFMs Poliwrath team expecting Cuno from UD/May to counterteam me.


Two steps ahead (just not ingame lol)




Beating the better player UD in an RBY moment.


Minutes before getting smashed by Torchic, then realizing Prep is overrated.


BFM reminding me of the shitshow of a series Emma and I had in UU Open lol


Rest, slow teams, are unviable 95% of the time.


BFMs priorities prepping for Stunner lol, at least he acknowledges the greatness.


Me being aggy, per usual.



Letting BFM know the facts about the "Kanga Check"

"Prepping" for lax? Rollercoaster of assumptions and questions that week lol.

Kadabra being overrated per usual.




Conceptualizing the Rat squad expecting Haunter to counterteam from Shell. Oversight on 6-0d by Buzz lol.


Declaring Victreebel's unviability.


Full of sarcasm and cynicism but got the jokes (we were always going to bring Sandslash against juoen since like Week 2).


Asking for tests then realizing I dont want to subject myself to this tier more than I need to. Thanks tkk for being a good sport.


Technical difficulties.


Not changing anytime soon :hippokek:


Acknowledging Torchic's skill, in not using Kadabra like an idiot.


BFM brainstorming, me supervising for Torchic.


Mapping gameplans, did like half the time didn't work out as well as we would've liked due to hax/bad picks mostly. Did work Week 1 though.


BFM seeking outside help....and not knowing I have a third eye lmao.


Talking RBY with BFM


If you cant break Hypno, just forfeit.



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